Our Practice is Certified Cat Friendly & Fear Free
Even the mellowest cats can become scared when removed from their environment, and we know how difficult it can be to take your cat to the vet. Approximately 38% of cat owners claim to feel stressed out just thinking about bringing their cat to the veterinarian. That’s why we’re pleased to have an animal hospital that’s not only feline-exclusive, but also AAFP-certified Cat Friendly® and Fear Free. We’ve taken extra steps to give our feline patients a truly welcoming experience that aims to reduce their anxiety and give them the care they need.
So, What’s a Cat Friendly Practice®?
Cat Friendly Practices® don’t necessarily have to be feline-only—but they do need to take certain measures to promote feline comfort and security in all areas of veterinary care. The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) established the Cat Friendly Practice® program in 2012 to help reduce feline stress and encourage more cat owners to bring their pets in for their annual checkups. The goal is to provide feline patients with the best care possible while making them feel more at ease. Along with always having a certified technician present during every appointment, other steps we take to help cats feel more comfortable at our practice include:
- Arranging & designing a physical space based on your cat’s needs
- Advising owners on the best stress-reduction methods pre- and post-appointment
- Regularly educating our team members on the latest techniques of feline handling
- Checking that our hospitalization and operating areas have the most advanced feline-appropriate equipment
- Training our team members to notice and observe subtle health changes and indications of pain and/or illness
Other steps we take include using “exam baskets” with towels inside so cats feel safe, using an exam room with a window to help distract the patient, and handling as little as possible when restraining our patients (we try to avoid scruffing whenever possible).
What’s Fear Free?
As a Fear Free practice, we implement extra measures to increase your cat’s sense of comfort and security. These include:
- Low-stress handling
- Less time in waiting room
- Alternative exam locations
- Calming medications if needed
The Fear Free initiative, established by Dr. Marty Becker, is designed to help veterinarians and technicians create a more welcoming atmosphere for their four-legged patients. For a practice to be Fear Free Certified, at least 25% of its staff must already have obtained certification.
Helping Cats Get the Care They Deserve
It is our hope that by adopting these measures, more cat owners will seek much-needed care for their loved ones to help them live long and healthy lives. Our goal is to narrow the gap between dogs and cats that see their vet every year.
Your cat deserves the best, and we’re more than happy to offer that at our feline-focused animal hospital in Oxford. If you have questions about the CFP and Fear Free programs, please give us a call at (203) 264-2287, or visit catvets.com and fearfreepets.com.